Author Notes: Can I just say I'm annoyed? No, let me be honest, I'm p***ed. At myself, I might add, and isn't that just the worst? I'm really annoyed and have nowhere to aim that energy, except to throw it out like a boomerang to come back squarely on my doorstep.
I've been posting recipes here for, oh I don't know, maybe going on 2 years?? And for some reason I thought midnight TONIGHT was the deadline for this week's contest. So I dilly-dallied around and thought gee, I'll just post that Teriyaki recipe with the Pickled Pear on Friday. Paw-lenty of time. Sigh.
So, in the spirit of better late than never, here's a great recipe I've been playing with on-and-off for about a year or more now. I first had something similar at the home of a good friend who is a lawyer by day in Washington DC, and an amazing chef at night for his lovely wife and friends lucky enough to be invited. He pounded some beautiful steak into thin pancakes and rolled them up with pears in the middle. He sautèed or grilled the whole thing and then put a great teriyaki sauce over it all. To die for. I practiced those rolls over and over but the pears kept sliding out all over the place so I ultimately abandoned the rolls to better chefs than I. The approach I took was to do either smaller rolls using a bok choy leaf for rolling cooked steak and pear, or do lettuce cups with Bibb lettuce (Boston head lettuce). Both work great and I've posted photos of both. I made my own teriyaki sauce after MUCH trial and error and it's a little spicier than my friend's and adds ginger and grated orange; I added sautèed whole scallions; and I switched to Asian pears and lightly pickled them. Asian pears have a slightly crunchy texture but are really juicy - and the flavor works much better with this than say, a Bartlett pear, which is too sweet for the approach I took.
This can be a great heavy appetizer for an appetizer party as cooler weather sets in, or part of an entree selection. And I serve Sapporo bear with these - perfect pairing IMHO. - TheWimpyVegetarian
Makes 8-12 lettuce cups, depending on their size
- 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon grated orange
- 1/8 teaspoon sriracha
- 1 - 2 grinds of black pepper
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- Put all the ingredients except the cornstarch and cold water in a small pot and bring to a boil.
- Dissolve the cornstarch in the cold water. Reduce the soy mixture to a simmer and add the cornstarch water all at once. Start whisking and keep the mixture to a soft simmer. You'll see it thicken almost immediately. Adjust for flavors if necessary and set aside.
Steak and Pear Filling
- 1 1/2 pounds rib eye steak
- 3 tablespoons pear vinegar (cider vinegar can be substituted, but try to use pear vinegar)
- 2 tablespoon mirin
- pinch salt
- 2 Asian pears
- 1 bunch scallions (around 8-10 small and medium sized)
- 2 bunches bok choy or 1 head Bibb lettuce
- Lightly salt the steaks and let them come to room temperature.
- Make the pickling juice by combining the pear vinegar, mirin and a pinch of salt in a small shallow bowl. Peel the pears, seed them and slice into thin "french fries". Pop them into the bowl with the pickling juice for 30 minutes. You can use them with that shape, or chop them up into large diced pieces when you get ready to assemble.
- Heat up 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a sautè pan. Remove any moistness on the surface of the steaks with a paper towel and sautè them to desired doneness. I cooked mine medium-rare. The amount of time is going to vary depending on the thickness of the meat, the type of sautè pan, and amount of fat in the cut of meat - but I sautèed mine for 3 - 4 minutes per side. Remove from the heat and let site for 15 minutes.
- Slice the tops off the scallions off so that you're left with the bulb and about 3 inches of green stalk. Carefully slice off the roots and toss the scallions into the pan you used to sautè the beef. On medium - high heat, sear the green onions both sides and reduce the heat to medium - low to continue to cook until the scallions are soft (about 10 minutes). Remove and slice up, if desired.
- Slice the meat against (across) the grain into strips. If you want, cut them again into small bit-sized pieces. Throw the meat into the pan with the slightly cooled teriyaki sauce and toss to thoroughly coat.
- Lay out the lettuce leaves. Spoon some of the beef into the center of each one, topped with the chopped scallions. Finish the assembly with the pickled pears. To eat, simply pick up the lettuce cups, place in your palm while folding over the sides with your fingers (think eating a hot dog).
- If you go the direction of the bok choy leaves, they will not accommodate much filling in each leaf, so you'll need to make at least twice as many. Remove a leaf from the bulb and perform the same assembly as described in the above step. Carefully fold the sides of the leaf over each other and tie together with part of a discarded scallion stalk top. To eat, I hold the part of the leaf the attaches to the bulb, which is pretty sturdy, with my other hand holding the meat filled part, and chomp away at it.
- Have plenty of Sapporo beer at hand to wash these down with!